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Let the Investigation Begin: The International Criminal Court, Israel and the Palestinian Territories

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Let the Investigation Begin: The International Criminal Court, Israel and the Palestinian Territories

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Submitted by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

International tribunals tend to be praised, in principle, by those they avoid investigating.  Once interest shifts to those parties, such bodies become the subject of accusations: bias, politicisation, crude arbitrariness.  The United States, whose legal and political personnel have expended vast resources on the machinery of international courts and jurisprudence, remains cold to the International Criminal Court.  The sceptics have tended to win out in Washington, restraining any consent to its jurisdiction.

The Trump administration made a point of imposing sanctions on court staff, specifically targeting chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, whose entry visa to the US was revoked.  The moves were instigated in response to investigative efforts by the prosecutor into the alleged commission of war crimes by US, Taliban and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.

Israel has also kept a witheringly hostile eye towards the activities of the ICC.  The acceptance by Palestinian authorities in 2015 of the court’s jurisdiction heralded the next troubling step in scrutinising Israeli actions in the occupied territories.

In December 2019, Bensouda intimated that there was “a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip”.  Of interest was the 2014 Israel-Hamas conflict, Israel’s policy of settlements in occupied territory and aggressive responses to protests on the Gaza-Israeli border starting in March 2018.

Often forgotten by various critics of the court is that Bensouda did not exclusively target the activities of the Israeli Defence Forces; she also included armed Palestinian groups as potential perpetrators of such crimes.  Her concerns were duly formalised in an application to the court as to whether such matters fell within the court’s jurisdiction.  Once resolved, an investigation could commence.

To the ICC pretrial chamber, she submitted “that the Court’s territorial jurisdiction extends to Palestinian territory occupied by Israel during the Six-Day war in June 1967, namely the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.”  She admitted that the Occupied Palestinian Territory had a “unique history” with the issue of Palestinian statehood having never been definitively resolved.  But the accession of the Palestinians to the Rome Statute was an important factor in her considerations.

In a 2-1 decision, the court found that “Palestine qualifies as ‘the State on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred’ for the purposes” of the Rome Statute.  This was so because Palestine had been accorded the status of a non-Member observer State in the United Nations, and in doing so, “would be able to become party to any treaties that are open to ‘any State’ or ‘all States’ deposited with the [UN] Secretary General”.  Palestine duly had “the right to exercise its prerogatives under the Statute and be treated as any other State Party would.”  It also followed that the territorial jurisdiction of the court “in the Situation in Palestine extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967”.

The majority, made up of Marc Perrin de Brichambaut of France and Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou of Benin, were also not convinced that “rulings on territorial jurisdiction necessarily impair a suspect/accused’s right to challenge jurisdiction under Article 19(2)(a) of the Statute.”  (Article 19 covers, in its entirety, challenges to the jurisdiction of the ICC or the admissible nature of a case.)

The response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was one aged in the barrels of Israeli foreign policy for years: criticism of its military actions could only mean one thing.  “When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes, this is pure anti-Semitism,” he raged in a video statement.  “The court established to prevent atrocities like the Nazi Holocaust against the Jewish people is now targeting the one state of the Jewish people.”  The court was investigating Israel for actions undertaken in pure defence “against terrorists” whilst ignoring the vicious activities of Iran and Syria.  “We will fight this perversion of justice with all our might.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan similarly rebuked the ICC for its “distorted and anti-Semitic decision.”  It was “an attack on Israel and all democracies, undermining our ability to defend civilians against terrorism.”  Drawing in the country’s closest ally, Erdan claimed that it was “no accident that both Israel and the United States have refrained from becoming members of this biased and political institution.”

Despite such conflating bluster, much needs to still take place.  Bensouda’s term ends in June and her replacement may see things differently.  The nature of responsibility being investigated also poses difficulties.  ICC defence attorney Nick Kaufman raises a few points.  The use of any disproportionate use of military force is one thing; investigating “the alleged criminality of the settlement enterprise, which has been considered part of Israeli government policy for generations” raises another set of hurdles.  The biggest problem is obtaining probative evidence “that connects the decision makers with the crimes that were allegedly committed.”

US President Joe Biden and the State Department under Antony Blinken are unlikely to be as vicious as the Trump administration towards the ICC, but remain clear about keeping Israel out of the international court’s judicial orbit.  Last month, a State Department spokesman promised that the administration would be revisiting the sanctions regime.  “Much as we disagree with the ICC’s actions relating to the Afghanistan and the Israeli/Palestinian situations, the sanctions will be thoroughly reviewed as we determine our next steps.”  The Biden administration promises “to help the court better achieve its core mission of punishing and deterring atrocity crimes” with the prospect of even assisting in “exceptional cases”.

The ICC decision was not one of those cases.  “The United States objects to today’s International Criminal Court decision regarding the Palestinian situation,” came the solemn words of State Department spokesman Ned Price.  “Israel is not a State Party to the Rome Statute.”  Price promised that the US would “continue to uphold President Biden’s strong commitment to Israel and its security, including opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly.”

A formal statement from the State Department took issue with what it considered an overreach of the ICC in attempting to exercise jurisdiction over Israeli personnel.  “The United States has always taken the position that the court’s jurisdiction should be reserved for countries that consent to it, or that are referred by the UN Security Council.”

Such statements signal a possible frustration of future investigative efforts, prompting the American Civil Liberties Union’s Jamil Dakwar to issue a reminder.  “It’s important to remember that the ICC investigation would also target Palestinian perpetrators of war crimes in the context of hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups, especially in the Gaza Strip.”

Palestinian sources have been all praise for the decision.  The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called it a “historical day for the principle of accountability.”  Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh considered the ruling “a victory for justice and humanity, for the values of truth, fairness and freedom, and for the blood of the victims and their families.”

Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri was also pleased, though decided to take from the ruling a very convenient reading.  “We urge the international court to launch an investigation into Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people.”  His tune, and that of Hamas, may well change once the investigation gets going.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

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johnny rotten

The prime minister of isisrahell uses the usual accusation of anti-Semitism, precisely he who is not a Semite and has a record of killing authentically Semitic people that would make the worst Nazi envy.

verner

in view of the serious crimes by the jews in palestine against the indigenous population, like palestinians, like syrians, like iraqis and like lebanese, a fair bit of anti-semitism is to be expected and as long as the jews in palestine continue their crimes against humanity and war crimes and and and, they should just get used to being subjected to hate-crimes, to anti-semitic slurs and anti-jewish violence. simple as all that.

Condor

The mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians was the first real genocide in modern history. Millions of Palestinians whose roots go down to pre-Greco Roman era were exterminated and forced out of their lands in 1948. The Greek historian Herodotus mentions Palestine in several of his narratives, but there is no mention of any “Israel”. This fake Hollywood creation needs to be folded up like other Hollywood props. There is no further use for it. The US and western tax payers have had enough, feed these parasites. We have enough problems of our own to deal with.

Potato Man

Zion are like Cancer…

Black Waters

Damn it… you said it before i did…

Just Me

Zionist cancer will be eradicated like all other similar malignant tumors like Apartheid. The clock is really ticking now.

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verner

he’s strikingly like hitler towards the end of the third reich, like the illegal occupation of palestine is coming to its end and the illegal occupiers soon to be extinct like the dodo bird – what a larf!

Just Me

Nazis are the role models of AshkeNAZI.

Decatur Guy

Nazis were pikers compared to Talmudic Bolsheviks.

verner

yep, true that!

Ashok Varma

Some cancers can be cured by aggressive treatment, Israel is a malignant tumor in Palestine and needs a quick chemo-therapy before it masticates all over the region.

verner

and it is obvious from the maps that the jews in palestine are up to their usual thievery and this time it’s about stealing the natural gas found under the palestinian seabed and which the jews, in typical fashion, is passing off as theirs to sell and is scheming with the disunited states of exceptional morons to secure the right to build a pipeline over lebanon’s seabed and that is inclusive of threats and most likely the ammonium nitrate explosion in Beirut in August and the impotent brussels bureaucrats to fence the gas for the jews – truly disgusting.

the need to finish the jews illegal occupation of palestine is of paramount importance and to give netanyahu a gadaffi end before being lamp-posted.

jm74

That word ‘anti-Semitic” needs to be banned; the most abused word in the dictionary. israel is guilty of human rights abuses and a state sponsor of terrorism; they need to face the gallows just as the nazis did.

Condor

Biblical Arab tribes are the only historical SEMITES.

rulla

Earlier, someone who hated Jews was called an anti-Semite. Today, it is considered anti-Semitic that Jews hate.
Therefore, in most cases, this is an honorable designation today.

Peter Jennings

US admins do not like the ICC because they fear their own crimes will one day be scrutinised. They also resent the ICC being in europe, instead of america where it can be corrupted or forced to do the bidding of aggressive warmongers, much like the UN. That being said, i don’t hold out much hope that the ICC will act on their findings as they too have been infiltrated and given false leads to follow.

The UN started off with good intentions, or so we are told, but they are now a good example of what can happen when an organisation believes the rantings and silly diagrams of dictators. The UN has become neocon central for every scam going, from ‘spreading democracy’ via war to ‘man made global warming’ and control of the planet for the profit making of a few hundred global companies.

There was one dictator who did speak sense to the UN. His name was Gaddafi. The UN didn’t listen and a whole country was destroyed and its leader murdered by brainwashed US troops. The UN and those responsible also have the blood of millions on their hands.

Isn’t it odd that the isreali apartheid regime rails against their treatment by the nazi regime yet they do exactly the same at home with the Palestinian people. It seems the nazis have been good teachers. The old and knackered excuse of ‘anti-semitism’ is being debunked everywhere.

This bullshit has gone on long enough. It’s time for the ICC to do its job even if the UN won’t.

Tommy Jensen

Its only about money as usual. If someone like the joos get recognized in court as victims, the cash flow starts big.
Otherwise its pure theatre. No one cares a shit about whether someone are dead, wounded or suppressed.

Peter Jennings

It always seems to be about the money when one digs down deep enough. However, in the case of the isreali apartheid regime it’s about land for expansion. The map shows that very well. They don’t seem to need the money as so much comes from america, along with the arms shipments to keep this boil festering.

AngloCanadian

Democracy in ancient Greece was also a fraud, American republicanism didn’t last long after John Adams warned Congress about the dangers of financial usury.

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PLATO’S CRITIQUE OF DEMOCRACY

“But even democracy ruins itself by excess—of democracy. Its basic principle is the equal right of all to hold office and determine public policy. This is at first glance a delightful arrangement; it becomes disastrous because the people are not properly equipped by education to select the best rulers and the wisest courses. As to the people they have no understanding, and only repeat what their rulers are pleased to tell them. To get a doctrine accepted or rejected it is only necessary to have it praised or ridiculed… Mob-rule is a rough sea for the ship of state to ride; every wind of oratory stirs up the waters and deflects the course. The upshot of such a democracy is tyranny or autocracy; the crowd do loves flattery, it is so ‘hungry for honey’, that at last the idlest and most unscrupulous flatterer, calling himself the ‘protector of the people’ rises to supreme power.” – Plato.

The more Plato thought of it, the more astounded he was at the folly of leaving to mob caprice and gullibility the selection of political officials—not to speak of leaving it to those shady and wealth-serving strategists who pull the oligarchic wires behind the democratic stage. Plato complains that whereas in simpler matters—like shoe-making—we think only a specially-trained person will serve our purpose, in politics we presume that every one who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state.

When we are ill we call for a trained physician, whose degree is a guarantee of specific preparation and technical competence—we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one; well then, when the whole state is ill should we not look for the service and guidance of the wisest and the best? To devise a method of barring incompetence and knavery from public office, and of selecting and preparing the best to rule for the common good—that is the problem of political philosophy.

“But behind these political problems lies the nature of man; to understand politics, we must understand psychology. Like man, like state; governments vary as the characters of men vary ; . . , states are made out of the human natures which are in them; the state is what it is because its citizens are what they are. Therefore we need not expect to have better states until we have better men; till then all changes will leave every essential thing unchanged.” – Plato.

https://youtu.be/iEK4A9hrVjQ

Peter Jennings

One would have thought that since Plato, the human race should have evolved a little. The planet still has the same shysters and maniacs running things. The only thing that seems to have changed is the appetite for war amongst those who end up fighting it.

AngloCanadian

“The only thing that seems to have changed is the appetite for war amongst those who end up fighting it.”

How To Get ‘ Over Man’: https://archive.org/details/HowToGetOverMan

That’s true, they were more nationalistic and natural than today. The jews have long sought to sow enough war to kill people’s fighting spirit and thus submit to the jew world order. The ancients believed the world operated in cycles; examples include the four yugas (we are in the Kali Yuga) and Hesiod’s five ages of man, among other such examples. China had their own cycles too.

The Astrological Ages:

Past Ages: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrological_age#Past_ages

Present and Future Ages: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrological_age#Present_and_future_ages

* Age of Pisces (current age) is said to have occurred after Jesus’ sacrifice, Christianity is mainly centred around the human sacrifice of Jesus; plenty of pagan influence, also applies to Easter (Spring Equinox) and Christmas (Winter Solstice) = Birth (of the sun), Death (of the sun) and Renewal/Reincarnation = Jesus’ Resurrection (Yuletide, Brumalia, etc).

https://twitter.com/thuletide/status/1359247914665730058/

Black Waters

Jesus chirst, the evolution of cancer in just a few pictures.

Condor

For over 70 years the brainwashed western populations led by the US deep state have allowed the criminal Zionists to steal Palestinian lands, kill women and children with impunity and deport over 7 million Palestinians who are languishing is squalid refugee camps from Lebanon to Syria. This type of barbaric inhumanity has been cultivated with US tax dollars,while American people die of hunger, homelessness and unemployment. The parasitic entity of Israel has milked over $5 trillion in US money and weapons since the British planted the rotten cancer in Palestine in 1948. This cancerous entity must be dismantled and the dual passport holder squatters return to their original countries as they have no connection with Arab Palestine of the region. Bringing these murderous Zionist criminals to face international war crimes court is a mere start.

Decatur Guy

Dude, I agree with everything you’re saying but American people die of hunger?
Every Wal-mart is a road to Damascus.

Phoron

Yes, Ameriqua has the fattest poor people in the world

verner

yeah what do you think with a fast food outlet in every corner and a few in between and no exercises and fat suv:s at 15 miles per gallon. just no time to stay slim and trim.

Tommy Jensen

Cheeseburger is not that bad. Its pure shit but the taste and price is good.

verner

sure lots of god hamburgers around but they still stick to the midriff and once there hard to get rid of and harder to get out of the caprice and thus next step is the suburban, to make life easier

cechas vodobenikov

Geoffrey Gorer observed that America was an oral culture —1st stage in Freud’s 5 stages of development in 1948…obviously a nation of tantrum throwing children….he observed that amerikans confer a quasi magical importance onto food—if they are not speaking about money typically it will be food…he found that only amerikan use food terms to address their lovers: honey sugar, dumpling, cupcake

Ashok Varma

The map is quite shameful, the Zionists have stolen almost all of Palestine and even Syrian Golan Heights. This kind of blatant criminal genocide simply can not stand in the 21st century.

verner

and that is one reason why the jews in palestine must be stopped – other reasons are the ethnic cleansing of palestinians, operation of concentration camp Gaza, murder of women and children
and thievery of other peoples properties,like the natural gas under the seabed and which the jews now are trying to peddle to the european union, if they can get a pipeline built over lebanon’s seabed (the disunited states of A is in that process trying to secure such right, using threats and bribes and leaving hezbollah outside the discussions). but the good thing is that the jews are what 8 million and the surrounding states say 300 millions so the jews are just about to become extinct, like the dodo bird – what a larf and netanyahu will be given the gadaffi treatment – another larf.

Decatur Guy

You think these Talmudic cultists are finished stealing land?
Ha! They’re just getting warmed up.

Ahson

Do these Semitic people want to live in the middle east because the EU is racist? Is that why? More than half of Israeli’s are totally middle eastern no? Just that they are from Arabian countries and look totally Arabian too no?

Kamīrusan

The west bank is much smaller than this in reality, if you take into account israeli settlements

Saso Mange

Hasbara won’t win them if this comes to court. End to apartheid is near. Zionism is an insult to Judaism.

Just Me

Hasbara has even turned western sheeple against the child murdering Zionist cowards.

AngloCanadian

Nothing will be made of this, the only way to stop their territorial expansion and mistreatment of Palestinians is through force. Even then the majority of jews wouldn’t stand for it, even when under occupation. They cannot be changed unless they become atomized individuals are assimilate, which they are too fanatical to ever do.

cechas vodobenikov

the primitive anglos, emotionless, cannot think—the most individualistic people on earth—USA#1 follows b Aussies, Nz, Canada, UK lack individuality
“amerikans poorly understand that individualism produces uniformity.” Philip Slater
“only in amerika do people act like machines, are treated like machines and only in n amerika are machine metaphors used to describe human behavior” Geoffrey Gorer
“the people of north amerika accept a level of ugliness in their daily lives nearly without precedent in the history of western civilization” yuri bezmenov
David Riesman (liberal), Mezaros (Marxist) both describe amerikans “over-conformist semi-automatons as does Richard Sennet (marxian/Feudian)
“individuality has entirely decayed in amerika”. Horkheimer/Adorno
they described amerikan conversations” “shallow, bombastic, fatuous”
“what unites the slavophiles, Alexandr Herzen, Peter Kropotkin and the Marxists is the belief that western individualism is an enemy of individuality”. Vladimir Golstein (1999)
the anti-Communist Hungarian Arthur Koestler–fluent English, German, French, Russian speaker compared amerikans to 5th century Romans: “a similarly contactless society populated by automatons…a similarly soulless politically corrupt everybody for themselves society”
James Baldwin wrote. “the amerikan ideal is that everybody should be the same”. and it was Walter Lippmann that described amerikans as “a bewildered herd”

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